Contemporary, Indian, eco-friendly and completely different... that's Gumdrops, Goodearth's recently launched brand for children.

Simran Lal was not alone in her search for baby products that satisfied these adjectives: unique, fun, creative and, most importantly, eco-friendly. Now isn't that what her store stood for anyway? So why not start a line for babies and children? That's what led to the birth of Goodearth's Gumdrops brand that caters to children aged one to five and partly to teenagers.

The recently launched collection has gifts, clothes, bed linen, bath and spa, toys, dining, silverware and furniture but what makes these products stand out from others in the market is the store's philosophy: “Contemporary design with a touch of Indianness that is also environmentally sensitive,” states Beenu Bawa, Head of Marketing, Goodearth.

Traditional concepts

“Indianness” does not seep into the collection just as visual design but also as a concept. Nazar Pattoo is a traditional practice where women who embroidered clothes for their babies would include one element that was off-colour to ward off the evil eye.

Similarly, their button-down shirts have colourful buttons with just one in a different colour. Now, if that doesn't ward off evil, it is at least sure to attract some smiles!

Even their bedtime stories are inspired by Nature and Indian tales. But “whimsy gone wild” is a better description of the collection, as Beenu puts it. “There is a sense of whimsy in all our products; even in the experience we create. But if you ask whether we have those funny wordings on shirts, no, we don't. We don't want to be a slightly tweaked version of what's already in the market. We want to offer something that's completely different.”

“Bamboo towels” fit that description. They are suitable for babies because they are extremely soft and absorbent. An environmentally friendly material, bamboo is also naturally hypoallergenic, antibacterial, mould and mildew resistant.

Do children, especially babies, really care?

“Parents are obsessed with their children because they are an extension of themselves. Children represent their parents and it is but natural for them to put forward the best version of themselves,” feels Beenu. Introducing the idea of being environment conscious at an early age will rub off on them as adults too.

Varied range

It is, perhaps, not just to please the babies but also their proud dads that Gumdrops has created a range of ‘father and sons' t-shirts and shirts like the Royal Enfield collection. Yes, you read right. Any father would be happy to initiate his kid into the world of bikes early.

For the girls, there is the “Chandani”' collection with silver embroidery on soft muslin. Other products include a multifunctional learn-n-play table with a chalkboard tabletop, bean-bags, baby sofas, floor cushions and indoor tents in two sizes that can be ordered in a variety of fabrics. There's also an ecologically sensitive gardening set made from recycled metal.

“We have been sensitive to the price. Especially when it comes to children's products we understand that they outgrow them fast and are bound to dirty them. So keeping all that in mind we have priced them as fairly as possible,” explains Beenu.

The pricing becomes a factor because all Gumdrops' products are organic and eco-friendly. Most of the clothes are made from organic cotton. “The processing consumes less fuel, water and energy and emits fewer greenhouse gases than conventional cotton.” The dyes used also “don't hurt the environment.” Facts like these back-up every product in the store converting your shopping into a campaign towards a better world. From the earth's point of view, you are benefiting it by buying products that are organic and hand-made, which translates to less energy consumed and fewer carbon footprints.

Also, “humans are psychological and spiritual animals. Such exercises will contribute towards making them holistically healthy,” says Beenu. “If you notice, people all over the world are going back to nature. It is either because of guilt that they have caused so much destruction to the earth's resources or they have felt that disconnect with nature and want to reconnect.” It's a win-win situation.

Also scoring a win will be the underprivileged children supported by Goodearth's NGO, the Goodearth Education Foundation. Gumdrops will donate a percentage of its sales to the organisation that works at setting up schools in poor rural areas with focus on providing quality education.

Store locations

Raghuvanshi Mansion, Senapati Bapat Marg, Raghuvanshi Mills, Lowar Parel, Mumbai 400000; Ph: +022-24951954.

Shop No 9 ABC, Ground Floor, Khan Market, New Delhi 110003. Ph: 011–24647175/76/79.

UB City, Vittal Mallya Road, Bengaluru 560001. Ph: 080-41738870/71/22112878.

Rutland Gate, 4th Street, Opposite the Taj Coromandel, Chennai 600006. Ph: 044- 43087878

Website: http://www.goodearthindia.com/

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Sunday MagazineJune 28, 2012